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Controlling the standard-setting agenda: the role of FRS 3

Weetman, P. (2001) Controlling the standard-setting agenda: the role of FRS 3. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 14 (1). pp. 85-109. ISSN 0951-3574

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Abstract

The consensus-based approach to setting accounting standards, which incorporates a formal consultation process, leads to questions about the lobbying process with regard to the nature of the argument, the characteristics of lobbying groups and the responsiveness of the standard setters. FRS 3, as the first standard initiated by the UK Accounting Standards Board (ASB), provides the context for considering these questions in relation to the nature of responses and respondents to the prior exposure draft, and the extent of comment integration, leading to a conclusion that the relative lack of change between the exposure draft and the standard is not explained by the pluralist concept of the standard-setter in bilateral interactions with the independent respondents. It may, however, be rationalised in terms of a community of business interests collectively permitting the ASB to demonstrate its effectiveness through the apparent legitimisation afforded by an overt position of accommodating users as a special interest group and a market force. The formal consultation process served the purpose of a symbolic ritual to establish the acceptance and acceptability of a newly-established regulatory agency.